OEM&Lieferant 1/2024

75 Editorial Dear readers, You may criticize or lament the German government‘s subsidy policy, but the fact is that applications for the so-called environmental bonus can no longer be submitted since 18.12.2023 due to fiscal constraints. And, as was to be expected, customers and the market reacted immediately. After a continuous increase in the number of electric vehicle registrations to 17.7 percent for BEVs and 13.7 percent for PHEVs, new registrations and the share of electric vehicles fell by a whole percentage point to 12.6 percent in February 2024. And the question on everyone‘s lips is: what‘s next for electromobility in Germany? There is no doubt that this development does not mean the end of electromobility. A roll-back to the traditional world of combustion engines is not a real alternative either, even if the CEO of Stuttgart-based automotive supplier Mahle, Arnd Franz, calls for an end to the ban on combustion engines in an interview with the FAZ newspaper and takes up the cudgels for sustainable combustion engines powered by hydrogen or synthetic fuels, so-called eFuels. This demand is justified in four respects; however, it negates the fact that both hydrogen and eFuel technology have nowhere near the potential to even come close to being able to support the decarbonization process of our transport sector in Germany. A discussion about the revision of the EU climate targets – in particular the ban on combustion engines in 2035 - is also of little help. This would be fatal for medium-sized and smaller suppliers in particular. In some cases, they have had to completely change their production environment and need secure planning premises in view of the considerable investments involved. Let‘s look at things positively: with the end of subsidies, the rules of the market apply again without restriction and the buyer decides – without state influence – which product he wants to buy. And it is precisely this perspective that ruthlessly exposes the remaining disadvantages of electric vehicles compared to combustion engines. There is no doubt that our OEMs have brought high-performance and competitive products onto the market that need not shy away from comparison with new competitors from China. Nevertheless, the prices of the vehicles are clearly too high compared to the combustion models and the price war between the manufacturers will bring about some changes in the price structure. The charging time and range of the vehicles are and will remain the final factors in the purchase decision. Here, OEMs are called upon to intensively improve battery technology, which they are doing in a variety of ways. Ultimately, it is clear that, at best, government support measures are good for stimulating new technological developments on the market. At the end of the day, the buyer‘s decision is the decisive factor. With this issue of OEM&Supplier, we are once again providing you, dear readers, with an insight into the competitiveness and innovative capacity of the German automotive and supplier industry as well as its service providers and service companies. We would like to thank all authors, interview partners and advertising customers for their excellent cooperation Your editors Elisabeth Klock & Dr. Rudolf Müller Dr. Rudolf Müller Elisabeth Klock P. S. Please also visit our trade press portal www.oemundlieferant.de